By Gina Yarbrough
San Diego, CA–The San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl was canceled Tuesday afternoon after the UCLA Bruins pulled out due to COVID-19 protocols within the players, game officials said.
UCLA was scheduled to face off against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at 5 pm. at Petco Park.
“We are extremely grateful to the Holiday Bowl, students, fans, sponsors, and the people of San Diego for their support this week,” UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed for our young men in the football program that worked extremely hard for this opportunity. My heart goes out to them. The health and safety of our students will always be our North Star.”
Mark Neville, CEO of the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, expressed disappointment with the game’s cancellation.
“The entire SDCCU Holiday Bowl family is heartbroken that we were not able to play the bowl game tonight. We do not want to cancel the game officially until we have exhausted every opportunity to find a replacement team, and we are working closely with Boo Corrigan and his great athletics staff at NC State.”
Earlier this year, the San Diego Padres had announced a partnership with the San Diego Bowl Game Association that would allow the 43-year-old SDCCU Holiday Bowl to be played at Petco Park for the first time for a minimum of the next five years, beginning with this year’s December 2021 match-up.
San Diego City Council approved to amend the Joint Use Management Agreement that would permit football to be played at Petco Park.
The Padres recently designed the baseball park to accommodate the Holiday Bowl at Petco Park
“We have been notified by the Holiday Bowl that tonight’s game at Petco Park will not be played due to COVID-19 protocols within UCLA’s football program,” the Padres said in a statement. “While we are disappointed that the game will not be played tonight, we look forward to future Holiday Bowls at Petco Park in America’s Finest City.”
Information on ticket refunds will be announced soon, the Padres said.
Details of possible rescheduling of the matchup have not been released.